Organisation - November 29, 2012

'Money important factor in degree choice'

Open day for Bachelor's degree even more popular than last year. Key question: how much does it cost?

Parents are becoming increasingly involved in their children's choice of degree. That is clear from the large number of mums and dads attending the open day on 17 November (which incidentally attracted a record number of visitors). Last year already saw a noticeable increase in the number of parents accompanying their offspring to the open day, says marketing officer Hermien Miltenburg, and that trend has continued this year.
The second trend is that parents are now particularly interested in the financial implications of a degree. 'That was quite different a few years back,' says Miltenburg. 'Then it was mostly about supervision and how you could get a room. Now parents are really worried about the increasing costs of a degree. They want their son or daughter to be happy but they also want to be sure they will be able to recoup the money spent on the degree by getting a good job.'
Miltenburg says that because of the increasing involvement of parents, Wageningen - 'more than other universities' - is mainly targeting parents in the information it provides. 'I give information about degree studies to 3000 parents every year. Our own analyses show that about 250 in every 1000 students first considered Wageningen on the advice of their parents. That means parents are a more important factor than websites, deans and presentations in secondary schools.'
Miltenburg is not worried about the number of applicants for Bachelor's degrees given the attendance figures for the open day. 'We are expecting another increase.' 

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